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TACOMA, WA–In a move expected to further revitalize this once distressed area of town, Columbia Bank has announced plans to open a branch in the New Look apartment and business complex being constructed at the corner of South 11th St. and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

The $5.8 million structure, being developed by the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association, is being targeted to low-income seniors. It will feature 49 low-income apartments and nearly 10,000 sf of retail/commercial space. It will also feature a 40-stall parking lot.

Jeff Robinson, director of the housing association, says that the building is part of a $16-million revitalization effort that has taken place in the neighborhood over the past three years. In addition to the New Look development, KeyBank, Safeway and Rite Aid have all set up shop in the area.

The New Look complex, set to open in April 2001, currently has letters of intent from a bakery and senior service agency, in addition to the Columbia Bank branch. Robinson said his organization is hoping to also see a sandwich shop, shoe repair shop and other senior-related retail shops move into the building. Of the 9,700 sf set aside for commercial use, Robinson says 5,000 sf is still available for lease. Lease rates are going for $6 per sf to $6.50 per sf.

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